|capital = Road Town
|latd=18 |latm=25.883 |lats= |latNS=N |longd=64 |longm=37.383 |longs= |longEW=W
|largest_city = capital
|demonym = Virgin Islander
|sovereignty_type = Established
|sovereignty_note = as a dependency of the United Kingdom
|government_type = Parliamentary dependency under constitutional monarchy
|leader_title1 = Monarch
|leader_name1 = Elizabeth II
|leader_title2 = Governor
|leader_name2 = John Duncan
|leader_title3 = Deputy Governor
|leader_name3 = V. Inez Archibald
|leader_title4 = Premier
|leader_name4 = Orlando Smith
|leader_title5 = Responsible Ministerb (UK)
|leader_name5 = James Duddridge MP
|legislature = House of Assembly
|established_event1 = Separate
|established_date1 = 1960
|established_event2 = Autonomy
|established_date2 = 1967
|area_rank = 216th
|area_magnitude = 1 E8
|area_km2 = 153
|area_sq_mi = 59
|percent_water = 1.6
|population_estimate_year = 2012
|population_census = 28,054〔The BVI Beacon "Portrait of a population: 2010 Census published" pg. 4, 20 November 2014〕
|population_census_year = 2010
|population_census_rank = 212th
|population_density_km2 = 260
|population_density_sq_mi = 673
|population_density_rank = 68th
|GDP_PPP = $853.4 million〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=The World Factbook )〕
|GDP_PPP_per_capita = $43,366
|currency = United States dollar
|currency_code = USD
|time_zone = AST
|utc_offset = -4
|drives_on = left
|calling_code = +1-284
|cctld = .vg
|footnote_a = Source for all ethnic groups including labels: 2010 Census of Population
|footnote_b = For the Overseas Territories.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI), officially the Virgin Islands,〔According to the ''(Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 )'', the territory's official name is simply 'Virgin Islands'.〕 is a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago; the remaining islands constitute the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands.
The official name of the Territory is still simply the "Virgin Islands", but the prefix "British" is often used to distinguish it from the neighbouring American territory which changed its name from the "Danish West Indies" to "Virgin Islands of the United States" in 1917. British Virgin Islands government publications continue to begin with the name "The Territory of the Virgin Islands", and the Territory's passports simply refer to the "Virgin Islands", and all laws begin with the words "Virgin Islands". Moreover, the Territory's Constitutional Commission has expressed the view that "every effort should be made", to encourage the use of the name "Virgin Islands".〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=About the Territory )〕
The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island, which is approximately long and wide. The islands have a population of about 28,000, of whom approximately 23,500〔The BVI Beacon "Portrait of a population: 2010 Census published" pg. 4, 20 November 2014 confirms that on Census date, 23,419 lived on Tortola〕 live on Tortola.
British Virgin Islanders are classed as British Overseas Territories citizens and since 2002 have had an entitlement to take up full UK citizenship. Although the territory is not part of the European Union and not directly subject to EU law, its citizens are deemed to be citizens of the EU as well.〔("EU relations with Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)," European Commission website ), accessed 5 December 2012〕
(詳細はArawak from South America around 100 BC (though there is some evidence of Amerindian presence on the islands as far back as 1500 BC).〔Wilson, Samuel M. ed. ''The Indigenous People of the Caribbean''. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997. ISBN 0-8130-1692-4〕 The Arawaks inhabited the islands until the 15th century when they were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs, a tribe from the Lesser Antilles islands, after whom the Caribbean Sea is named.
The first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage to the Americas. Columbus gave them the fanciful name ''Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes'' (Saint Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins), shortened to ''Las Vírgenes'' (The Virgins), after the legend of Saint Ursula.
The Spanish Empire claimed the islands by discovery in the early 16th century, but never settled them, and subsequent years saw the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Danish all jostling for control of the region, which became a notorious haunt for pirates. There is no record of any native Amerindian population in the British Virgin Islands during this period, although the native population on nearby Saint Croix was decimated.
The Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola by 1648. In 1672, the English captured Tortola from the Dutch, and the English annexation of Anegada and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680. Meanwhile, over the period 1672–1733, the Danish gained control of the nearby islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix.
The British islands were considered principally a strategic possession, but were planted when economic conditions were particularly favourable. The British introduced sugar cane which was to become the main crop and source of foreign trade, and slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations. The islands prospered economically until the middle of the nineteenth century, when a combination of the abolition of slavery in the Territory, a series of disastrous hurricanes, and the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States〔In the United Kingdom, a major market for sugar from the Territory, the Sugar Duties Act 1846 also created a considerable downward effect on the price of Caribbean sugar cane.〕 significantly reduced sugar cane production and led to a period of economic decline.
In 1917, the United States purchased St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix from Denmark for US$25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands.
The British Virgin Islands were administered variously as part of the British Leeward Islands or with St. Kitts and Nevis, with an administrator representing the British Government on the islands. The islands gained separate colony status in 1960 and became autonomous in 1967. Since the 1960s, the islands have diversified away from their traditionally agriculture-based economy towards tourism and financial services, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean.
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